Piñata ban in Houston parks. What’s next: prohibition of “Las Mañanitas”?
At least they spelled piñata with a “ñ.”
When you mess with tradition and culture, you are going to get a lot of people angry. A ban against piñatas in parks in Harris County in Houston was deemed as an effort to keep the parks clean. But many Latino community activists say this is a subtle attack on Mexican culture.
The signs banning piñatas in more than two dozen parks in the county had Latino activists infuriated and calling the 4th Precinct’s choice of signage an act of discrimination, reports Univision Houston.
The signs, which have now been taken down, read “No piñatas allowed on park grounds.” Under the adopted policy items such as piñatas, confetti eggs, silly string, poppers and other items that would litter the park are prohibited. Piñatas and confetti eggs (also known as cascarones) play a big part in Mexican and Mexican-American birthday celebrations, so the signs were not taken lightly by local residents.
“How offensive that they have signs that directly talk about our culture in a way that says that we are prohibited, that we leave trash, that we don’t care about taking care of the park,” Tony Díaz , spokesman for the Nuestra Palabra movement, told Univision Houston.
According to KENS5.com, the park’s spokesman Mark Seegars stressed that the intent for the signs was to keep the parks clean.
“We don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings,” said Seegars. “The signs are coming down while we review the best way to put the message out to people that we need their help in keeping litter out of the parks.”
For the Latino community, the policy is more of an attack on culture than an effort to maintain the parks’ aesthetics.
“I’ve got kids, so I enjoy the parks, and I want it to be neat, clean and safe,” Diaz told HispanicBusiness.com. ”But when I go there I don’t want to see a sign that makes them be ashamed, or give them pause, or make them think their culture cares less about keeping the park maintained, clean or orderly.”